The Art Of Eating Before And After A Workout
Working out is still important. In fact, it has never been more essential, considering the restrictions in place. It’s not as easy to exercise when you can’t leave your home. As a result, it’s not straightforward to increase your motivation levels, either, since being stuck indoors all day is bad for your mental health.
The good news is, eating can help. Food is the fuel you need to exercise regularly. However, far too many people get it wrong by consuming too much and feeling bloated or eating too little. There is an art to powering up before a workout session, and you might not know the little intricacies that can impact your well-being.
With that in mind, this post has put together several steps that you should look to follow. If you do, you should be more motivated and driven to workout, regardless of your surroundings!
Step #1: Time It
Eating before and after a session is all about timing. Get it wrong, and you won’t be comfortable while exercising. Post-workout, an ill-advised meal or snack can prevent the muscles from absorbing the nutrients they require to build mass and regenerate cells. Timing is everything.
Therefore, you should aim to eat at least one hour before you exercise. However, it’s better to give your body longer – around two to three hours – to stop common troubles, such as stomach ache. Eating afterward is essential as your muscles are ready to refuel. Mayoclinic.org says they are usually at their optimum within two hours of finishing.
Of course, having a meal straight after a session might not be appealing as it can be sickly. As a result, you might want to leave it until the latter-end of one-hundred-and-twenty- minutes to make the process more palatable.
Step #2: Eating Before And After A Workout. Make Sure It’s Caffeinated
Caffeine is an ingredient that divides opinion. Some people think it’s harmful and avoid it like the plague, whereas others are happy to indulge. The reality is that, while it has its downsides, it’s a stimulant with positive impacts on the body pre-workout.
In the simplest of terms, caffeine increases alertness and arousal, making a workout less stressful and painful, according to time.com. It amps up your motivation levels, making sure you’re ready to pump iron or run the treadmill into submission. An easy option is to drink a cup of coffee or a sugary drink pre-exercise.
However, you can find it in foods, including cocoa beans and chocolate, kola nuts, and guarana berries. All you need is a little boost, so don’t go overboard. Again, it’s best to consume caffeine around one to two hours before exercise to give your body the chance to absorb it into the bloodstream.
Step #3: Focus On Digestion
The guidelines are helpful, but not all the time. You’re a busy person with a lot to do, so when you have an opportunity to workout, you want to take it right away. You don’t want to wait for three hours for food to settle before you can get your pump on. Thankfully, there’s an elegant solution.
A smoothie or cocktail is a fantastic hack for several reasons. Firstly, it’s swift to digest, so you won’t have to hang around as long. Secondly, it’s packed with organic ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables. Thirdly, there are tons of recipes available. You can find great ones over at goodnature.com, or you can indulge your artistic license!
Focusing on digestion before a session provides more flexibility because you will be ready to work out whether it’s planned or spontaneous.
Step #4: Eating Before And After A Workout: Pack Your Plate With Protein
Although you need carbs and caffeine before working out, you require protein after the session is over. During exercise, the muscles work hard, leading to tiny tears that lead to aches and pains that need repairing. Plus, you won’t be able to put on mass if you don’t give your body the right nutrients.
However, eating proteins can be challenging, depending on what time you finish. After all, it’s easy at night when a typical dinner consists of meat, yet it’s harder during the day when lunch is a light snack. If cooking up fish or chicken is too much hassle, you should make sure your sandwich utilizes lean meats, such as turkey.
Also, opt for brown carbs rather than white ones. Brown bread, pasta, and rice are less starchy and easier to break down. Plus, some contain essential fats.
Do you eat before and after working out? You should because it is often the difference between success and failure.